Meatless Monday -“You can’t handle the truth”

I just watched a documentary entitled “The truth about meat.”

And the truth is…eating free range, organic grass-fed meat is more detrimental to the environment than factory farms. To feed the growing demand for meat with less environmental impact is more efficiently served by intensive agriculture. For those who want to be ‘conscientious’ carnivores, this may come as a shock.

Meat has always been eaten by affluent people and in affluent times. Typical portion sizes today are far greater than what they need to be in order to get sufficient protein. This has led to an industrial system proving to be unsustainable.

But why discuss meat on Meatless Monday? This tidbit gives more compelling support of a vegetarian diet.

The mandate to cut down on meat consumption is nothing new. Meatless Monday started as a food rationing campaign during wartime. More recently the UN predicted that the world may need to become vegetarian by the year 2050.

So to achieve meat freedom what does one eat for protein?

A varied diet of grains, legumes and vegetables when eaten in proper proportions can provide the protein required by the body daily. Because the amino acids are plant-based and not as easily absorbed as animal protein, aim for a higher protein count per serving. A typical serving of animal protein averages 25g. For a protein rich plant-based meal aim for at least a minimum of 30g.

The following are some of the better sources of plant-based protein. They are grouped loosely by category.

  • soybeans, tofu, tempeh, tvp (texturized vegetable protein)
  • wheat gluten, seitan
  • teff, amaranth, quinoa (actually a berry but eaten as a grain)
  • steel-cut oats, brown rice
  • lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans
  • almonds, peanut butter
  • spinach, peas, broccoli

Some meal suggestions:

  • brown rice with broccoli, tofu and peas
  • stew of lentils, teff and spinach seasoned with berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend
  • steel-cut oats and amaranth cooked with soy milk, topped with almonds and drizzled with a peanut butter and silken tofu ‘cream’
  • three bean salad with quinoa, kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas

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